What do Goblins, Vampires, masquerades, and an infinite supply of Pumpkins have in common? Yes friends, Halloween is upon us! The strangest of our annual celebrations, linking us with our fears of the occult and our wonder of the supernatural. We dress up and roam the streets under the moonlight, seeking to frighten our fellow citizens out of their wits, then politely ask for their candy. An obscure tradition. But a tradition none the less. If you're left wondering what to do on Halloween this year in Lewisham, look no further. We’ve picked out a few exciting things to do to get your spooks in our Borough that will make you wish you hadn’t left home.
1. Night of the Glamour Ghouls – Disco Funk At The Rivioli Ballroom - 24th October
Who said ghouls and glamour can’t go hand in hand? For the disco and funk lovers out there who appreciate releasing their inner le freak at every opportunity, this is the perfect way to spend your Halloween dancing the night away under the disco ball and the moonlight. Rivoli Ballroom is a remarkable grade II listed building in Brockley and is one of Lewisham’s secret gems. It has a 1950/60s interior decor, giving it an authentic vintage look. The music on the night will be of the ghoul funk variety, with DJ Kobayashi providing a ‘horror journey into the sound blend of music’ (whatever that means).
Dresscode is listed as "terrifying 70’s and 80’s" (Funky Frankenstein in flares and shades? I think I can just about picture it). Attendees are advised not to come alone!
You can get your tickets here:
2. Hither Green Cinema - “Chills In The Chapel” - 1st November
Showcasing 2 nail-biting thrillers and Halloween classics, Hither Green Cinema on St Swithun’s Road are hosting this fun event for kids and adults on Sunday 1st November. Dubbed “Chills in the Chapel” this duo of screenings will be held in the apt location that is St Swithun’s Hall. With its tall, vast interior and its sharp gothic design, this fantastic building will no doubt be creating all sorts of chills on its own, so make sure you come prepared with enough garlic and the like to fend off any unwanted visitors!
For Kids: Monster House (PG) and Halloween Games - This 2006 animation follows a young trio of inquisitive adventures who suspect that a neighbouring residence is in fact a strange creature meaning to do them harm. The adults are having none of it, writing it off as superstitious nonsense, and with Halloween fast approaching, the team are left to their own devices and have to find a way of destroying the structure before local trick-or-treaters await a ghastly fate!
Fancy dress is encouraged and halloween games are on offer before the film, plus a cash bar and popcorn! Bringing some fun competition to the bonanza, customers are encouraged to bring along their scariest looking carved Pumpkin - as there’s a prize for the best one!
More info and tickets here
For Adults: The Cabinet Of Dr Caligari (U) With Live Musical Accompaniment By Igor OutKine - This classic German silent from 1920 explores themes Hypnotism, and Dostoyeskyesque takes on crime, guilt and insanity. At its most basic, it is a horror/crime thriller that follows 2 men who encounter a doctor and a hypnotised man. Through one shocking event, involving the predicted death of one of the 2 men, the plot unravels and becomes a chilling exploration of insanity, psychological control and hypnotism. Not for the faint hearted!
The film will be accompanied live by Igor Outkine, a renowned Accordionist and Vocalist from Russia. Cash bar and popcorn are available throughout should you manage to draw yourself away.
For more info and tickets, click here
3. Get The Right Costume
Its always the same dilemma. Do I go all out? It’s only one day of the year, why bother? I’ll just cut up an old shirt and put fake blood on it. Or ketchup? I don’t want to look crap though….ARGH!?!?!
We’ve got the solution. Yes, you can chop an old wrinkled school shirt to bits that’s already 2 sizes too small, but if you’re looking for some authenticity, and some serious high-level-fear-factor costumes, AND at a reasonable price range, head to local party shop in Lewisham, Harlequin. Their range of stock is mind-boggling, with everything from skeletal pirates to devil divas, and people are known to spend hours at a time finding the right thing for them. Their masks are of a different calibre altogether, with some being out-and-out gruesome, and others genuinely too terrifying to look at. They provide all the accessories you could possibly need, from fake-blood to face paint to nails, the lot. Don’t miss out on your Harlequin experience this year for Halloween, you’ll regret it!
You can call them to ask if they’ve got something or to hold anything in stock for you, and remember, Lewisham Card Holders receive a 10% discount!
4. The Voodooville Rock Show At The Fox And Firkin - Saturday 31st October
Showcasing a night of hell-raising rock ’n’ roll and blues, The Fox and Firkin in Lewisham are hosting a “rockin' night of debauched dancing, killer music, and cut-throat cabaret” to the good and bad people of Lewisham. With a stonking line up of renowned UK Blues and rock legends, you don’t want to miss out on this. They’ve got UK legend John Fairhurst topping the bill, who’s gritty, powerful voice, and punchy guitar riffs will no doubt get the venue’s floor shaking and peoples feet stomping in ritualistic fashion. Also playing will be the critically acclaimed Z Star . Described by one fan as “An interstellar ride with one of the most exquisite psychedelic rock goddesses around!” her Led-Zeppelin, Hendrix inspired brand of soulful Rock and Roll has garnered her the stamp of approval by the likes of Jimmy Page and Rolling Stone magazine. To see the whole line up, just click here and sign up to their event. Don’t forget - You get £2 off all door entry fees with your Lewisham Card! This night is going to be pumping from dusk till dawn, and aside from the stellar cast of live music acts, there will be terrifying fancy dress, “dead dames running spooky games” in their fantastic and specially decorated haunted garden, and much more to keep you entertained throughout the night.
5. Discofest Spooktacular! - 24th October
For more disco fanatics who can’t control their feet when the DJ drops the beat, Discofest is hosting a special, family oriented Halloween event at Sydenham Tennis Club this Saturday 24th October.
There’s going to be all that you can imagine going on to fill the afternoon, including FREE Face Paint or Glitter Tattoos, LIVE DJ playing the coolest hits, broomstick limbo competition, arty fun, dance host, games & prizes, party props, candy floss, (edible) squirmy jelly worms, hocus pocus punch for kids, a fully licensed bar for adults, and more. A great opportunity for friends, family and children to come and socialise and swap shapes on the dance-floor, Discofest promises to be a fun-filled, colourful event for families to get creative and enjoy their Halloween weekend dancing away under the glittery glare of the disco ball.
6. Halloween History Show Off At The Amersham Arms – 29th October
Of all the events going on in Lewisham this Halloween, an all out history knowledge-off between 9 of Goldsmith’s finest ‘ians and ‘ologists from all across the academic spectrum was not the first thing that came to mind when thinking what to put in this blog. Despite appearing seemingly irrespective of Halloween, this evening event at the Amersham Arms in New Cross promises to provide a unique opportunity for goers to receive a concentrated brain-feeding session into the vaults of history, and will attempt to fuse the stand-up medium with that of the university lecture. Original, no? With sociology lecturers discussing everything from the transnational history of seafood in London, to demonstrating the way Victorian women turned their massive skirts into practical cycling gear, its shaping up to be a rampant intellectual circus of the hyper studious, not for the faint-hearted and will certainly test your ‘think outside the box’ boundaries. Not merely using Halloween as an excuse to release their fearless intellect upon the masses, there are two new speakers catering specifically to the scary things: an Anthropologist who will be talking about Occultism and paranormal beliefs in contemporary culture, and a Public Engagement specialist who “knows some things about magic circles”…whatever that entails…You can look at the full line up and book your tickets here.
7. Lantern Making In Forest Hill! From 27th to 31st October
Halloween doesn’t just have to be an all-night disco party with funkily-clad dance troopers leading the way. Forest Hill has proved this by offering a brilliant set of Lantern making workshops building on from last years' events for the more tranquil creative types. In a joint effort between 3 fantastic local businesses in Forest Hill, these workshops will be happening from Tuesday 17th October to Saturday 31st October 2015.
Fantastic Lantern Making Workshops
Sugar Mountain - Tues 27th & Thurs 29th 2-3pm
The Archie Parker - Wed 28th & Fri 30th 2-3pm
Stag & Bow - Sat 31st 3-4.45pm
Lanterns will be displayed in the shop windows and can be picked up for the Lantern Parade at 4.45pm on 31st starting at Forest Hill Library
Know of anything interesting, fun and spooky going on near you this Halloween? Let us know what your plans are!